The value chains of Mediterranean sheep and goat products. Organisation of the industry, marketing strategies, feeding and production systems
In the Mediterranean, the diversity of production systems and value chains is seen as an asset for sustainability. More than anywhere else, the Mediterranean zone boasts a wide range of sheep and goat farming situations, products and natural resources. This diversity of production systems has provided many different products, shaped a variety of environments and landscapes, maintained territories and arable and pastoral land uses, and fixed populations in the rural areas. Traditional production and transformation systems rely on local resources, short supply chains and artisanal transformation practices that are maintained and supported by a culture of and local demand for traditional products. At the same time, in response to the increase in demand from the cities, value chains based on agribusiness models have been set up. These models use mass distribution channels, concentrate processing work, and intensify production systems, often via inputs. However, between the two extremes of traditional and agribusiness models, there is a plethora of production systems and marketing channels, and very often in these territories various types of models are used at the same time. This publication compiles the contributions presented at the 15th Seminar of the FAO-CIHEAM Sub-Network on Sheep and Goat Nutrition, held in Montpellier (France) in 2015 and organised by the joint research unit, “Tropical and Mediterranean Animal Production Systems - SELMET” (Systèmes d’élevage méditerranéens et tropicaux, INRA/SupAgro/CIRAD), and CIHEAM through the Mediterranean Agronomic Institutes of Zaragoza and Montpellier with the collaboration of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO, Subregional Office for North Africa), the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Agropolis International, the Centre for Agro-food Research and Technology of Aragón (CITA), the National Institute for Agriculture and Food Research and Technology of Spain (INIA), the European Association for Animal Production (EAAP) through the Mediterranean Working Group, and the Regional Council of Languedoc-Roussillon.